Map of Rhode Island and the Position of the French Army in Newport


Plan de Rhodes-Island, et position de l'armée françoise a Newport (Map of Rhode Island and the position of the French Army in Newport) is a manuscript map in pen-and-ink and watercolor dating from 1780. The map is oriented with north to the right. It shows the plan of defense for Newport, Rhode Island, and its environs during the Revolutionary War. It highlights General Rochambeau’s main troop encampments around Newport as well as the position of the fleet of Admiral Charles Louis de Ternay at the entrance to Newport Harbor. The map indicates the range of fire from the French fleet and land batteries protecting the city and port from Brenton Point, Goat Island, and Rose Island. The numbered legend indicates the forts and batteries surrounding Newport in the area of southern Narragansett Bay. The map also shows the British defensive lines for the campaign of 1778. French forces remained in Newport for more than a year (1780‒81) before Rochambeau marched westward through Connecticut in June‒July 1781 to join up with George Washington’s troops in New York. This was the prelude to the Battle of Yorktown (Virginia) that ultimately ended the Revolutionary War. Relief is shown by shading. The map has watermarks. Buildings, roads, and vegetation are shown. A note on the back referring to a letter from Rochambeau to the prince de Montbarey (French secretary of state for war), dated July 19, 1780, is not included here. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Last updated: November 4, 2015